Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Anderson

Community:
Anderson 
Staff:
Jeremy Johnson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
Denali Borough 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Anderson 
Population:
235 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
8/17/2011 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/1/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Most homes and public schools have individual wells, wastewater systems, and plumbing. A permitted recreation vehicle (RV) disposal lagoon and sludge disposal site is provided by the city. Residents hire a private wastewater pumping company when their systems need maintenance; the company deposits the waste into the city owned lagoon. There is a current Village Safe Water project to connect all buildings to a piped wastewater system. After homes are connected to the piped waste water system, individual wastewater systems must be filled in and made non functioning. The first customers, including the school, were brought online in the fall of 2011, during the summer of 2012 and 2013 new customers continue to be connected. There are still some homes that have not been connected to the system. The city is expected to take ownership of the system in the fall of 2014. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Contact this quarter was phone and email support. One topic of concern for the city is a proposed Denali Borough seasonal sales tax of three percent. The city has a sales tax already and the city wastewater customers pay a tax on the monthly utility fee, there are no provisions to exclude the city which would mean that the total tax amount would double. The borough is proposing the tax to capture tourists dollars in the Denali National Park/canyon area. Other help this quarter was fairly general and included reading and understanding section of the city code and assistance in reviewing meeting minutes. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
An on-site visit is scheduled for Monday July 7 to assist the city clerk with learning how to update the website with municipal utility public information, including meeting minutes, ordinances, agendas, and notices.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 26
Total Score:
48 of 52

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
Yes The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The wastewater utility income and the entire city revenue is greater than budgeted for FY14. The FY14 expenses are below the budget and the actual income is greater than expenses. The city passes budget amendments as needed (FY14 amended budget is on file in Fairbanks) and the FY15 budget has been approved. The city is able to pay its bills, according to the Accounts Payable report. New customer are continuing to be connected and added to the financial reports. The budget was entered into QuickBooks with the income in the General Fund-Other class but the expenses in the specific enterprise class, which is sloppy accounting; this makes it difficult, but not imposable, to determine if the utility has enough revenue to cover expenses. RUBA staff suggested to the bookkeeper to make this correction but it has not been done.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
According to the Accounts Receivable report there are a number of customers who have not payed their bills in over three months, the fact that they are still receiving services yet not paying the bill indicates that the utility is not following its collection policy. It is extremely important that customers pay for services, otherwise the utility will not be self supporting. The city, by using QuickBooks, has a system in place to record how money was spent. The city has hired additional staff to fulfill the bookkeeping responsibilities and she has reconciled the bank accounts. The city has a number of customers who leave the state during the winter, the 'snow bird' customers are now being charged a disconnect fee and then a reconnect fee upon returning, during the disconnected period no monthly bill is sent. The year round customers are billed on a regular basis. A new commercial customer has been added to the billing system. The city does not follow a pre-approval process before purchases are made. This has resulted in the environmental department (which the piped wastewater system is part of) going over budget and the excess costs are covered by reducing the available amount from another department; budget amendments now show that the expense is with in the budgeted amount. The was in issue previously with a former city employee and legal action was eventually taken to recuperate losses; RUBA staff has provided advice to the council to implement a process according the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices that would protect the city and utility from unauthorized spending and budget over runs. No action was taken, the council is not interested in adopting this process to protect public funds.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
N/A If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
The city is compliant with the DOL, as of June 27. The city is compliant with the IRS, as of July 1.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
No The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
No The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The workers compensation insurance policy is posted in the kitchen/employee break room and is purchased through AMLJIA for the periods of July 1, 2014 through July 1, 2015, on line verification on July 1, 2014 supports that the insurance policy is still in effect. The personnel policy is part of the Anderson Code of Ordinances 2.50 and is complete, as are the job descriptions for city positions. According to the clerk, and documented by the lack of evaluation in the personnel folders, evaluations have not occurred in a number of years. Personnel policies state that evaluations must occur on the employee anniversary date of hire (AO 2.565.5(b)) in addition to other times. The personnel policy has a written hiring process, which provides the mayor the ability to create the device or devices to be used in evaluating applicants. Personnel folders contained every document except for the letter of acceptance. According to personnel policy, the probationary period is 90 days and it is up to the department head to provide job training, oversight, and evaluations. Training opportunities are available and have been utilized.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
As established in the wastewater utility ordinance 08-06, the City of Anderson shall own and operate the utility. As the wastewater project has not connected all customers, indicators are being based on the actions of the city council (also the utility board) with respect to management of the existing lagoon. The city council meets regularly and is an active participant in discussions with the Village Safe Water (VSW) engineer and was active in passing the utility ordinance and the business plan for the piped wastewater system. The city council enforces the existing ordinances for the sewage lagoon. Ordinance 08-06 sections 3 and 5 give the city the authority to operate the system. An organizational chart shows the current structure and lines of authority. The city council meets every month and these meetings are open to the public to attend.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
Yes The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
Yes The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operator is current with certifications. The current wastewater lagoon has a preventative maintenance plan and upon completion of the piped wastewater system a plan will be provided to the city. The manager does get monthly reports; if there is anything of a pressing nature he is provided with updates as necessary. The manager also makes on-site visits to view productivity and to inspect the maintenance books. Safety meetings are held according to the standard operating procedures for the lagoon. There have not been any major problems; the utility is operating as designed. Each building has its own water well; the city does not provide public water and does not have a Consumer Confidence Report. The city is not on the April 2014 SNC list. The city has some essential parts. It also retains fencing and parts to repair the liner. As the city currently only has a lagoon, there are very few parts to keep on hand when compared to a piped water system.